Wellington, April 20, 2017
The latest inflation data from Statistics New Zealand shows that too many New Zealanders are now worse off under the National Government.
Consumer Price Inflation (CPI) is now running at 2.2 per cent, and it is the very basics that are running higher.
Fruits and Vegetables are 4.4% higher. Property rates are up 3.3% Primary and Secondary education costs rose 2.8% Housing and Household utilities rose 3.3%. Transport prices rose 3.5%. Increases in these core expenditure areas hit the poorest hardest.
However, wages are running far behind that number, meaning that the cost of living gets harder and harder for New Zealanders.
According to the latest information, average hourly earnings rose just 1.3% last year, 66% of Kiwi workers got less than 2% wage increase last year, and 45% got no pay rise at all.
National can no longer hide behind the headline figure of a growing economy. GDP was down last quarter. Unemployment is up and now stands at 140,000 and 90,000 young people are not in work, education or training.
The cost of housing is spiralling.
Success for (Prime Minister) Bill English and (Finance Minister) Steven Joyce does not mean success for most New Zealanders.
It is time for a Labour Government that cares about the needs of New Zealanders and helps them share in the prosperity of a growing economy.
National has no vision for the economy and has no plan or ideas for the future – except for allowing speculators to keep making money in the housing market.
Grant Robertson is elected Member of Parliament from Wellington Central and Labour Party’s Spokesman for Finance.